Harassing collection behavior is illegal: Put a stop to it

On behalf of The Rollins Law Firm posted in Debt Relief on Thursday, May 15, 2014.

Few realities seem to be more firmly based than this unpleasant fact confronting legions of consumers across the country, including in Mississippi: Unquestionably, the debt collection industry has more than its fair share of bad actors.

That is of course not to deny there are a great many debt collectors operating across the nation who go about their jobs in an ethical and conscientious fashion, actually seeking to work in good faith with debtors to resolve payments that are owed.

Unfortunately, though, those people tend to get overshadowed by collectors who are, well, a bit less graceful and decent in their contacts with consumers.

Too many collectors shout. They cajole. They threaten. As one consumer advocate notes, they are not simply OK with the angst and outright fear they engender in debtors – they actually seek to induce stress, making consumers “willing to pay the debt to simply make the pain stop.”

More consumers need to turn that sad equation around, buoyed by knowledge that they can do so and have legal rights to demand a stop to abusive collection behavior.

Knowledge is indeed a powerful tool. A consumer who knows that he or she can readily contact the national Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding harassing conduct is likely to do so. An abusive collector’s employer can be contacted as well, as can be the state attorney general.

For many consumers in need of debt relief who are being hassled by badgering collectors, the most valuable contact of all is often to an experienced bankruptcy attorney. A proven debt relief lawyer can intercede directly with collection agencies or in some instances simply make them cease all contacts through an automatic stay order.

There are limits to what collectors can legally say and do. Insist that they stay within them.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "How to deal with harassing calls from a bill collector," Geoff Williams, May 13, 2014

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